HomeExchanger Lori has done 11 home exchanges. This year, she went to Hot Springs, Arkansas for a getaway with her husband. She shares her story about traveling with HomeExchange for a much-need respite.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic my father-in-law passed away. It was such a deep loss that I wanted to get my husband away for a few days to rest. We exchanged at a condo on lake at Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Many of the historic sites were closed and restaurants. Instead, we spent our days relaxing on the porch enjoying the beautiful views. We took hikes and walks at the greenways in Hot Springs.
We couldn’t figure out how to get the cable to work so we enjoyed yoga on the deck and cooking with a view. Things have been different since COVID-19, but families have to support each other in the difficult time.
My advice to new HomeExchangers: be flexible and go somewhere unexpected. You will be pleasantly surprised. Once you stay in homes you never want to stay in a hotel.
My host Joy was so friendly. Now we are like old friends, texting each other and keeping in touch. Joy was supposed to go to my place in Pensacola but due to COVID-19 she changed her mind and went to my cabin in North Carolina. We both enjoy hosting and talk about how enjoyable it is meeting and finding friends via HomeExchange.
I usually call and talk with my host before the exchange. I find a door code is an easy way to have guest without key worries. I like to leave tourist info in the home for others to decide what’s interesting to them.
During our time in Arkansas, we drove to historic Hot Springs. The gardens were even closed due to the pandemic, so I hope to go back. We hit some of the cool food trucks in the area. Hiking is also beautiful in Hot Springs.
My favorite memory from the exchange is the lovely view from the deck. We would have coffee in the morning and watch the sunset in the evening.